Let's take a look at a few things.
These are not soldiers. This is not Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Gaza.
The above images and video were tall taken in Ferguson, Missouri this week, as protests rock the town in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed teenager. More notable than the protests themselves, however, has been the police response, which as you can see, has been on the heavy-handed side.
Paul Szoldra, a former US Marine and combat veteran of Afghanistan, has written for Business Insider on the turmoil, pointing out just how over-the-top the response has been (he references the images at the top of this post).
In photos taken on Monday, we are shown a heavily armed SWAT team.
They have short-barreled 5.56-mm rifles based on the military M4 carbine, with scopes that can accurately hit a target out to 500 meters. On their side they carry pistols. On their front, over their body armor, they carry at least four to six extra magazines, loaded with 30 rounds each.
Their uniform would be mistaken for a soldier's if it weren't for their "Police" patches. They wear green tops, and pants fashioned after the U.S. Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. And they stand in front of a massive uparmored truck called a Bearcat, similar in look to a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or as the troops who rode in them call it, the MRAP.
Perhaps the saddest part of Szoldra's report comes from a tweet he received from a veteran of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, who said "We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone."
But this isn't a warzone. It's a small town of 21,000 people. An American town.
Into a world where Ferguson has now happened, where people around the world are confused and outraged at this type of police appearance and presence, EA is going to release a video game about heavily-armed police blowin' shit up on the streets of the USA.
Nathan wrote about people's concerns (and EA's responses) with Battlefield Hardline's subject matter earlier this year, but that was a piece inhabiting a vacant plot of the media and cultural landscape, where the only thing present were those concerns. Now, we have some reality to sit alongside them.